Did you know that, in the federal criminal justice system, there is no parole? This means that, with the exception of a small ten percent reduction in your sentence for good behavior, you are required to serve the sentence imposed. “Supervised Release” was created by Congress when federal parole was abolished, and although it bears similarities to parole, it does not serve to replace or eliminate a part of your sentence as parole once did. Instead, it is a term of supervision monitored by the United States Probation Office and your sentencing judge to help both reintegrate you into society after you have severed your time and ensure that you are no longer a danger to the public.
Imposing Supervised Release
Generally, supervised release consists of monthly reports and meetings with your probation officer, random drug testing, budgeting assistance, counseling services, and help in the job market if necessary. Sometimes imposition of a supervised release term is mandatory, meaning that the sentencing judge is required to sentence you to a term of supervised release. For example, certain child sex offenses require a minimum five-year supervised release term. Other times, the term imposed will have been discretionary. But because your supervised release term is imposed at the time of sentencing, which can mean years before you actually begin supervised release, things might change in the interim. For some, supervised release is a helpful reintegration tool, but for others, the monthly burdens and travel restrictions imposed when you are on supervised release may actually serve to limit your ability to successfully reintegrate into society.
Early Termination of Supervised Release
Because supervised release serves a special purpose of reintegration, the sentencing judge often has no way of knowing when he or she imposes your supervised release term how successful you will be upon completing your sentence. Accordingly, after one year of your supervised release term has been served, federal law permits a sentencing judge to terminate your supervised release after considering the following factors:
- The crime committed and the circumstances surrounding such;
- The history and characteristics of the defendant;
- The need for the supervised release term, including but not limited to, whether the term serves the purposes of justice, deters criminal conduct, and protects the public;
- The range initially imposed and the purposes of that imposition;
- Congressional policy;
- Victim’s rights; and
- The need to avoid disparities in supervised release terms.
You criminal defense attorney can make a motion on your behalf and argue that, under these factors, you would benefit from the termination of your supervised release and that the public would not be harmed from such a termination. Provided you have had no past supervised release violations and have the support of your probation officer, you may be able to take years off of your supervised release term.
Contact Philadelphia Criminal Defense Attorney Brian Zeiger
If you believe you may be entitled to early termination of your supervised release, contact Attorney Brian Zeiger. He can work to review the specific facts of your case and help petition the court on your behalf. Contact him today at 215-546-0340 or online for a confidential, no-risk consultation.